Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tasty Toledo

After being in Madrid for 3 weeks, a few friends and I decided to get out of the big city and visit Spain's previous capital Toledo.  This city has a kind of charm that can only be bestowed to one settled in the 7th century B.C.  Immediately upon arrival you are transported back in time.  You are walking on cobblestone streets, through narrow walkways, and of course the immense cathedral with its intricate carvings and architecture.  One of my friends, who is involved the group Couchsurfing, organized a tour with a fellow couchsurfer.  The first order of business was lunch.  Now if travel shows have taught me anything, it's that locals know the best places to eat.  He took us to a hidden cafe, that we would have definitely not found on our own.  The thing I appreciate about eating with Spanish people is that they prefer eating family style.  This way we have a variety for people to choose from but especially allows someone like me to try many dishes at once. This is what we feasted on:

Jamón ibérico with Manchego Cheese

Ensalada de Ventresca (piquillo peppers, mackerel, and egg)
Salmonejo (similar to gazpacho)
Carcamusas (pork)
Etrufado de Ciervo (venison)
Picadillo de Morcilla (blood sausage)
Tortilla (Spanish omelet with potatoes)

The best part about this meal must have been the bread that the restaurant provided to sop up all the sauce from the different dishes.  I tried to recreate the piquillo pepper salad the next day at home but it just wasn't the same.  I will keep working on it, a recipe coming soon.  Besides its history, Toledo is famous for 2 things: swords and marzipan.  Now the swords were interesting to look at but not practical to buy at this stage in my life.  Maybe if I convert into a hunter/gather and live in the forests of England...but probably not.  However, I do highly recommend buying the amazing marzipan.  Its unlike any I have ever had in the States.  Its buttery and soft, my favorite were those filled with apricot jam. 
Marzipan from Santo Tomé's
It was truly a relaxing day of sightseeing and great food.  I look forward to visiting more small towns in Spain and throughout Europe. I wonder where my next adventure will take me......

Check out this view from the other side of the river

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